Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

CORE-FORMED ALABASTRON

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on February 17, 2021

26R Core-formed Alabastron from the Allaire Collection of Glass

                         Date: 6th -4th Century B.C. Height: 9.6 cm Weight: 49 g

Description: This vessel was manufactured around 6th to 4th Century B.C. using the core-formed method of glassmaking. The shape of this Alabastron was inspired by the common Greek pottery of the period, a form frequently used in core glass. The decoration is also typical using trailed and marveled threads of yellow, turquoise and red.  Glass objects from pre-Hellenistic periods were luxury items, affordable by only the upper class.

Technique: Core-formed; applied rim-disk and handles; zigzag pattern of applied threads caused by the tooling and marvering.

Condition: Intact

Parallels: In the book, Ancient and Islamic Glass, Paris, Loudmer, Kevorkian #327 & 331, The Constable Maxwell Collection #15, The Yale University Art Gallery #23 & 24, Glaser der Antike, Sammlung Erwin Oppenlander, Axel von Saldern #165 (Now in J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa).

Remark: Methods of making glass objects came about shortly after natural glass was discovered.  The first glass objects manufactured were not vessels but amulets or pendants and beads. Using the technique of rod forming, tooling and applied elements.  Vessels were made later by core winding from 1500 to 1200 BC. in the Mesopotamia, Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean region.  Production declined between 1200 and 800 but revived from 800 to the 1st century BC. After the introduction of glass blowing by the Syrians 100 BC, the method ceased to be used with few exceptions.  A good scholarly book on this type of glass is Early Ancient Glass, David Grose, Toledo Museum, 1989.

This link is to a short video by William Gudenrath from Corning Museum of Glass on the core forming method. (active link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nocv4qLpxa8

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